Google Offers To Break Up To Prevent Antitrust Lawsuit

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Google has offered to break apart in a bid to avoid greater punishment for antitrust violations from federal regulators, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The tech giant has raised the prospect of separating a major business operation off from Google—the auctioning and placing of online advertisements—to form a separate entity also under the umbrella of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, people close to Google reportedly told the WSJ. It was unclear if the offer would satisfy the Department of Justice (DOJ), which declined to comment on the story, according to the WSJ.

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The DOJ has long been investigating Google for monopolistic practices in the digital advertising market, and is preparing a lawsuit that could be filed as soon as this summer, the WSJ reported.

Jonathan Kanter, the DOJ’s antitrust chief, has a public track record of preferring court opinions to settlements, as they establish precedent and clarify and advance the legal code, CNBC reported.

“We need new published opinions from courts that apply the law in modern markets in order to provide clarity to businesses. This requires litigation that sets out the boundaries of the law as applied to current markets, and we need to be willing to take risks and ask the courts to reconsider the application of old precedents to those markets,” Kantar said in January.

Last year, Google’s selling of ads on other websites and apps accounted for $31.7 billion of revenues, roughly 12% of Alphabet’s total. 

The company also faces two ongoing probes in Europe on similar antitrust allegations, the New York Post reported.

Google did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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